3 Shining Work Moments Ice Breaker

Team Building Ice Breaker that Employees Enjoy

Business people having discussion at meeting
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Looking for a winning team building ice breaker that you can use for meetings, training classes, team building sessions, and company events and activities? My three shining work moments team building ice breaker makes group cohesiveness and cooperation a natural result of this team building ice breaker.

Your participants will learn to know and appreciate each other's strengths with this ice breaker.

The goal of this ice breaker is to help participants build a cohesive team.

With a group of twenty-four, this ice breaker will take approximately an hour to an hour and a half. So, this ice breaker is more appropriate for a team building day-long or multiple day session. It is also appropriate as the main event in a team building session that lasts a couple of hours when the main goal is team building.

Three Shining Work Moments Ice Breaker Steps

  1. Divide the meeting participants into groups of four people by having them number off, one through four. Have your number ones sit with the other ones, your number twos with the other twos, and so forth.

    (You do this because people generally begin a meeting by sitting with the people that they already know best. The goal of the ice breaker is to help them to either get to meet or get to know new people.)
  2. Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to look back over their work careers and find three events, activities, accomplishments, collaborations, or moments of recognition by others that were shining or important to them. I think of these as career highlights. Provide ten or so minutes for the participants to think about and jot down ideas before you ask them to share their shining moments with their small group.

    If you have employees who are relatively new to the workplace, you can ask them to share moments from college classes, part-time jobs, internships or volunteer work. In describing three work highlights, this group already has moments to share. Don't avoid this ice breaker when you work with younger groups of employees. They have shining moments.

    For example, I had an intern, Erin, who when asked to share her shining work moment didn't hesitate for a second. She related that when the CEO asked her to set up the boardroom, order food, and just generally support the company's board during its meetings, she was thrilled and complimented.
  1. Once participants have a chance to think about their shining moments, ask them to share them with their small group. My preference is that each person shares one at a time. They share their first; then, each person shares their second and then, their third.

    Tell the small group members to listen carefully and to look for common themes and similarities in the stories. For example, did many of the shining work moments involve praise and thank yous from a respected manager? Did the shining moments involve a raise and a promotion?
  1. Tell the groups that each person will be asked to share one of their shining moments with the whole group upon completion of the small group exercise if they are comfortable doing so.
  2. Debrief the team building ice breaker by asking the group how they reacted to the ice breaker–to the experience of telling their own stories and hearing the stories of their coworkers.
  3. Continue to debrief the ice breaker by asking the large group if participants noticed themes in the stories. Ask if participants found commonalities in the stories shared in the small or large groups.

    One theme that I often find mentioned is that the stories are all about receiving recognition. Many stories center around promotions, successful product launches, and moments of company recognition. Let your participants draw this conclusion; don't tell them. It generally sparks a discussion about the importance of employee recognition.
  4. When the team building ice breaker discussion is finished, ask the participants if they have anything they'd like to add to the discussion before moving on with the rest of the session.

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